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Vicia faba 'Optica'

Broad bean

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Key information

Plant type




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photo by FhF Greenmedia, copyright GAP Photos (116143)

Plant details

This is an ideal variety to grow if you are short on space. It has a compact growing habit and produces medium length pods full of white beans. It also has lovely foliage so you can even grow it in the garden border. Sow seeds in late October to January in a sheltered spot, in double rows 23cm (9in) apart. When the plants are in full flower, pinch out the tops to encourage fuller pods and to deter blackfly. Growing Limnanthes douglasii (the Poached egg plant) as a companion will attract ladybords and hoverflies which will help keep blackfly numbers down. A barrier of garlic planted alongside can prevent damage by bean weevils.

Family: Papilionaceae

Genus: Vicia

Species: faba

Cultivar: Optica

Plant type: Vegetable

Foliage colour: Mid-green

Sun exposure: Full sun

Soil: Well-drained/light

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Beginner

Height: 100cm

Time to plant seeds: October to January

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